Dining Set Makeover (and how to remove heat marks): Before & After

Meet the most time consuming, yet rewarding project I have done to date.   Isn’t it pretty?

Dining Set 3-NN

It didn’t always look like that, though.  It used to look like this…

Table Before 2 - NN

This dining set took hours of patience, elbow grease, a steady hand and a few questionable words, but I’m so glad I had the opportunity to work on it.  Not only did I have the honor of painting it for one of my favorite families, but the end result was incredibly satisfying.

When I got it to my workshop (read: garage), this is how it looked.

Chairs Before 1

While tackling this project I faced 2 main challenges:

1.  My client wanted to paint the wood, but keep the existing fabric on the chairs.  Unfortunately, the cushions could not be removed from the chairs (they are glued down).  This meant I had to find a way to paint the chair frames without getting paint on the fabric.

2.  The table top had a run-in with some hot pizza boxes and the pizza boxes won.  My job was to figure out how to salvage the table top without stripping the original finish.

Table Top Before 1-NN

So, yes, challenges.  The chairs actually mocked me for a while, but I tackled them head on and prevailed!

First, the chairs:

I wanted a smooth finish but needed easy clean up in case anything got on the fabric, so I decided to use chalk paint. To get a more professional look, I determined it was best to take the chairs apart to paint.  Imagine chair parts to 6 different chairs spread out on a tarp in my formal living room (it was too cold to paint outside).

Chairs Before 2-NN

Unfortunately, while I was prepping the chairs to paint I found little surprises stuck to every single leg of every single chair (that’s 24 legs total).

Chairs Before 3-NN

What you are looking at is what I can only describe as packing tape that probably melted onto the furniture while it was once in a storage unit…in Texas…in August.  **I must note this was done by the original owners of the dining set, not the current owners.** Anyway, I tried about 7 different concoctions ranging from vinegar to WD-40 to remove the residue. Goof-Off is what finally came to my rescue.  I’m a loyal customer for life.

After that fun surprise, I got to painting and learned another use for a paint scraper.  It was the perfect solution to getting a clean edge around the fabric.

Table During 2-NN

Chairs During 2-NN

The chairs were the most time consuming part of the project and needed 3 coats of paint plus 3 coats of wax, but they turned out beautiful.  Adios, 1990’s!

Chairs During 3-NN Front of Chair Collage-NNChair Collage-NN

Second, painting the table legs was a breeze.  I love how the white made the details stand out and added a nice contrast to my client’s darker floor.

Table Leg Collage-NN

The table top was a different story.  I’ve removed heat marks from furniture before, but not of this magnitude.  I first tried my stand-by trick of adding mayonnaise to the marks, but it didn’t work…not even a little.  So, I dared a trick I had heard about where you use heat from an iron to remove the the marks.  Worked like a charm!

I just placed a white towel over the heat marks, turned my iron to the steam setting, and pressed it over the stain for about 30 seconds or so.  Then, I applied a little Old English Lemon Oil to the surface to condition and smooth out the finish.   

Heat Marks Collage-NN Table Top Collage-NN

I also had to deal with a few scratches.  I used my trusty Minwax Wood Finish Stain Marker and the scratches were drastically minimized.

Scratched Table Top Collage-NN

After going over the entire table top with more lemon oil and adding 3 coats of wax over the painted base, the project was finally complete.  

Table Top 7-NN

The biggest thrill was getting to see the table back in its rightful surroundings. 

Dining Set 11-NN

Talk about a difference!

Hicks Table 8 Collage-NN Dining Table Collage Front View-NN

I also helped my client find a new chandelier.  She originally had a chandelier that belonged to her husband’s grandmother.  Normally, I wouldn’t have let her replace it, but the chandelier was a little too small and wasn’t giving off enough light.  This chandelier I spotted at Lowe’s was the perfect solution.  

Table Collage View from Entry-NN

This was quite the project, but I’m so glad I was able to help bring this beautiful dining set back to life. And because I think the family who owns this table is so awesome, I wouldn’t hesitate to do it all over again…well, I might hesitate a little.  😉 

Dining Set 13-NN


8 thoughts on “Dining Set Makeover (and how to remove heat marks): Before & After

    • Thank you, Susan, not only for your kind compliment, but also for giving me the kick in the pants I needed to piddle around with my image settings. I’ve been meaning to try to fix that glitch for a long time and kept getting sidetracked. Moving forward, I think I’ve figured out the problem. I also fixed it for my previous post on my family room. Thanks again!

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